Hire a Music Conductor to lead your social media team


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Is your marketing department on stage performing a solo? Are they hogging the spotlight and acting as if the other members of the company orchestra are not on stage? Let us look at your social media initiative from another angle.

Let us consider every staff member with customer touch points as playing an instrument in your orchestra. The Brass section is sales trumpeting the company messages on a street corner like are found in New Orleans. Percussion is played by PR and marketing while the deep Bass Rhythm section is R&D and Engineering chartered to keep the beat of the company in time with the market. The String section is Customer Service playing an engaging melody in accompaniment with the whole; while HR plays woodwinds adding new harmonies to the performance by hiring talented new orchestra members.

So you see, without a conductor to lead or sheet music to follow, your orchestra has nothing to follow and your audience will only hear noise versus a pleasing company symphony. If your company concerts sound horrible – you’ll continue to lose ticket sales and your fan base.

Let’s imagine for a moment your orchestra without a conductor: Let us say that you’ve assigned “all social media activities” solely to the marketing department and they implement a tactical campaign without much forethought, and low & behold it is met with some success. Suddenly marketing personal find themselves in conversation with prospects and customers; while the salespeople, who own customer relationships, are not included? Would you not conclude some serious internal conflicts could ensue?

What if R&D and Engineering are not listening to their customers online conversations, nor including them in the next generation design phase; this rhythm section would not be in time with the public chorus. As a result neither your product launches nor product functionality meet expectations. If the strings of customer service come in too late or requires multiple menus to get to a human, the public chorus tells that department “you are too little to late” to gain much favor. Or if the strong sales brass section is only blowing their horns without adhering to the rests in the measure, they can’t hear above their own noise. The brass of sales must rest when noted; adjust their attention to the public chorus and listen closely to learn what song their customers want to hear next.

We thus conclude that if a company does not begin its social media initiative with a strong composition for all to follow; the orchestra would sound like a high school band room during warm up and prior to the conductor tapping his baton. Pandemonium!

Thinking back, CRM was created because due process recognized the effectiveness in collaborative efforts between individuals managing customer touch points. Now collaboration is building to a crescendo as the Social Web has emerged providing great opportunity to those with a comprehensive understanding of what will be gained from a synergistic orchestral performance.

When an orchestra first plays through a composition, each member is playing from individualized sheet music designed for their part of the compilation. They don’t need to know how to play other instruments – but they all adhere to the same rules of engagement defined by the composer’s work of creativity written on the sheet music in front of them. Players don’t even know what the music is going to sound like until they run through it a few times. But it’s been my experience that with practice over time – performances improve considerably as you prepare to please your audience the night of the concert.

Who knows, if executed very well you could suddenly find your company as successful as U2 & Bono helping address world peace in Iran through their music. Your company may end up resembling Eastman Chemical who fully understood a horizontal organizational chart as a winning formula to the coveted Malcolm Baldridge Award. Eastman Chemical’s motivation for team work was backed by a strong foundation in wanting to win customers. How very refreshing and hip of them to begin a “customer centric only” approach to their internal organization back in the 70’s.

Finally let’s mention the start-up company located on a sleepy countryside of the Appalachia able to perform for the entire planet — for one internet connection allows your company to perform a song and reach an audience of millions from a solitary hilltop. You too can enjoy being part of the universal song, for with considerable Social Capitol Value find we don’t need TV or Radio stations to carry our music and lyrics across mainstream broadcasting networks.

The emerging 21st century broadcasting company is SWN not CNN — the Social Web Network is providing the venue—a platform for the worlds’ virtual orchestra and song. Your company headquarters acts as the stage and your employees are the orchestra members; while new social tools are the stage crew supporting the performance. Your browser; the plush red curtain rising; – so don’t sign on unless you’re sure you’re fully prepared to perform. Understand the social media tuning tools to gather the data and measure your pitch. You’ll need some type of metronome to keep pace; so what would be more ideal than to hire a creative conductor to understand these components, find the right symphony to play by popular request of your audience, hand out the individual parts for each department – and then as I heard from my mother and father ad nausea – practice, perfect, and practice some more!

Two references for more information:
Regarding “Social Capitol Value” refer to: http://www.customerthink.com/article/social_networks_communities_elastic_ties

Social Media for Business / Online Classes & Education offerings:

Laureen Earnest
As the founder of Notes 'N Time, Laureen brings 30 years experience as a business growth strategist in sales, marketing, and channel management. Laureen's authentic customer first approach has helped her build strong relationships and impact organizational development. She is a Founding Member, Alumni, & Graduate at the Social Media Academy.


  1. This is an excellent way for an organization to think about managing Social Media. And, your can easily extend the analogy to all leadership activities in an organization.

    I have a music degree from college. An unusual education for a career in marketing and advertising, perhaps, but for me understanding the nuances of music and music performance was excellent preparation for success in business. How do I lead? I’m a conductor and it works just fine.

  2. Lauren,
    Interesting to find your example of music symphony and social media. I hadn’t thought about it that way exactly but find your example really helped put a vision in my mind.

    As a Social Media Academy Alumni and certified social media consultant, I was part of a talented group that did original research, a social media assessment, a case study strategy and then presented a public webinar of a social media strategy on Citrix.

    I would equate this experience with a jam session when several great musicians get together and play their rhythms in such a way that they flow together, meld and become something new, and sometimes edgy. It works because the basic theories, core melodies, and even tempo of music help great musicians to adapt their ideas to make new music.

    In this exercise, all the participants had been trained in the Four Quadrant Methodology of Social Media Academy and were unified in the goal of a social media assessment. Each of the participants had their own genre of music in their heads, some part of large “bands” others soloists. But they could find the similarities and their differences added value to the group.

    I believe the ultimate result was an example of a Jam Session of social media. These were people who found the original training only thru social media, they explored and shared ideas on social media, used Buzz and social media to let others in their networks see the results.

    How cool is that!

  3. Hi Laureen,

    Wow, well written, and a great explanation of why a social media strategy needs to be a holistic approach. I would say that 90% of the social media “expert articles” I am reading even today just focus on marketing, so you have really widened the scope.

    I didn’t know about Eastmann Chemical’s success covering every touch point and focusing on the customer experience. That’s the essence of what modern “brand” is all about so they were ahead of their time.

    And Wendy’s suggestion of Jazz caught my attention and extended your theme. In jazz improvisation there is often no conductor, but there is a consistent theme and culture and seamless blending of skills and talents without having to have every note written down and a prescriptive set of rules. That’s also how social media can work for a business – they key is to have the right methodologies and frameworks for planning, implementation and monitoring.

    Walter Adamson @g2m
    Certified Social Media Consultant
    Melbourne, Australia

  4. Thanks everyone for your great responses. James, I’m sure music will be a huge benefit no matter which field you chose in life — as there have been significant studies conducted that show the multitudes of benefits stemming from music. (Refer to PBS show noted below)

    Wendy & Walter: I love the improvisational implications of a company wide social media effort — as yes, a well thought out & planned social media strategy would result in the melding of the various departments & output resembling an improvisational jam — but important to note, planning still comes first such as which key to play in. I would also see some businesses sounding out varied genres depending on their product or image or style — some play world music, others country, classical, or pure rock n roll.

    PBS had a recent special called The Music Instinct where Science explored the human brain on music and song — these researchers have been busy for decades and now offer up ground braking news into how and why the human organism–and the whole ebb and flow of the cosmos–is moved by the undeniable effect of music.

    Enjoy everyone!


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